Indexing and Abstracting databases allow you to cover thousands of journal articles with just one search. Some of these databases will also cover newspaper articles, conference papers, book chapters and/or technical reports. So don't waste time guessing what journals will have articles on your topic or searching just one journal at a time.
For general multidisciplinary searches use:
For engineering specific searches use:
To Find Books in the ASU Library:
To Find Books In Other Libraries:
If the ASU Library doesn't have the book that you need, request the book via our Interlibrary Loan Service.
*Many of our electronic books are listed in the catalog however, we also have several e-book collection in which you can use the native search engine for these collections:
Full text of the American Society of Civil Engineers' publications including journal articles, conference papers, standards and books.
Contains full-text of the ASM handbooks
Books from major publishers in all subject areas.
Books from major publishers in all subject areas.
A collection of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.
Over 2,000 science and engineering handbooks in which you can find facts, formula and property data.
Books from major publishers, organizations and government agencies in all subject areas.
Full-text of selected journals, books, book series, and reference works and the Online Archives Collection from science publisher Springer.
Synthesis Digital Library
Innovative online information service for the research, development and educational communities in engineering and computer science.
Some links to resources where you can find engineering and business case studies:
Journal of "Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis"
General engineering search engines:
Engineering Village and/or
Knovel and use the keywords to find case studies.
Business indexing engines:
Then from the advanced search if you click on the “Document type” menu you can select case study
Or enter “case study” “case studies” in the keywords.
Use the link in the upper bar or in the lower righthand corner for case studies or you can alternatively search via keywords.
Finding out about a topic, i.e., the "background" information, before doing literature research will help you increase your vocabulary so that you can search the best, most efficient words and also allow you to recognize appropriate books and journal articles even if the authors do not describe the topic the same way you do. The more you know about a topic, the better you'll be able to focus on a specific aspect that would be appropriate for your paper. Background information may be found in the following types of resources which generally provide a summary:
Civil Engineering Dictionaries:
Encyclopedia of Materials - Science and Technology
11 vols. includes biomaterials
Handbooks provide a summary of a specific subject and frequently include data compilations and formulas. Handbooks are also a great place to look for "quick facts" about a topic.
A full text, online collection of over 2,000 handbooks, data collections, and encyclopedias for science and engineering. This database includes over 100 items in the Civil Engineering and Construction category.
EverySpec provides free access to over 55,000 Military, DoD, Federal, NASA, DOE, and Government specifications, standards, handbooks, and publications.
Other Online Handbooks
Handbooks in the Libraries
Search the library catalog using keywords such as
It's the database with the greatest range of both substances and properties. Knovel will also help fill in the knowledge gaps if you are unfamiliar with your substance or property.
A patent is a government grant bestowing certain property rights on the inventor; these rights usually permit the inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention.
For more information about patents and finding/research patents please see the ASU Library's
For more detailed assistance you may consider consulting the Arizona State Library's
For more detailed information about standards at the ASU Library, please see the Standards Guide
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Full text of IEEE standards available in IEEEXplore
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
SEMI (semi.org; "global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries")
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
Everyspec (Military Standards and Specifications)
Search Engines for Standards
ANSI Search (formerly NSSN)
US Local Codes (MAD CAD)
Links to online codes for all 50 states plus US Territories; within each state links are provided to websites of county, city, town and jurisdiction agencies and to their respective codes when available online.
Construction and Infrastructure
Many professional associations collect data on their membership and/or their area of expertise. Although some make this data freely available on their website, others restrict the data to members only or may provide data only to news sites or journalists for a fee. The ASU Library cannot obtain the data if the association restricts it.
To find websites for professional associations:
Once in the website, look for a category or section labeled statistics or data. If no such section exists, use the site's search box to look for "statistics". If the site has a publications section, see if that has a separate search engine in which you can search for "statistics".
To identify what technical reports exist on a particular topic, use:
To find the full text of a specific report: